Yesterday, while on an early morning cycling adventure, my friend, Arjan and I witnessed two shocking incidents that really opened our eyes towards some critical issues in our city that need our attention. We were left thinking about the bigger implications of these issues that are neglected in our society.
First, we witnessed a car accident right before our eyes. It was a hit-and-run case. A speeding Mahindra XUV came and rammed into the rear fender of a Honda Civic, which was travelling on the same side that we were cycling on. The impact sent the Civic spinning in a circle. Even though the car was heavily damaged, luckily, the accident wasn’t fatal. The Mahindra sped off before anyone could do anything. The accident happened about 10 m away from us, and the loud sound of the impact left us so dazed that we couldn’t note down the number of the XUV. It was similar to one of those typical accidents you see in CCTV footage. The traffic lights of the crossroads were switched off.
We were shaken up by the immediacy of the accident itself, but our morning didn’t end there. Next, continuing on the Golf Course Extension Road, we cycled past a flatbed delivery truck. As we passed, I thought I heard someone moaning. When I looked back, I noticed that there were three men standing on the rear (the flat bed) of the truck and they seemed to be peering down and grappling with something. A small crowd of labourers had gathered around. So, we decided to turn around our cycles and go see what was happening.
To our surprise, there was an old man who seemed to be stuck to the front wall of the flatbed of the truck, and he was crying. By this time, guards from the nearby building had gathered around too, and we found out what had happened – the truck was carrying a load of aluminium sheets (razor sharp on the edges), and when the truck braked, the sheets came crashing down to the front side of the flatbed, where this poor old man was positioned, to keep an eye over their load. Horrifically, his leg had got crushed by the weight of the aluminium sheets. He was bleeding and his bone was fractured, and some of it had chipped off. He was in urgent need of help. As the truck crew used crowbars to try to jack off the weight and create space for his leg to squirm out, Arjan and I decided to do the least we could – call an ambulance, since there was nobody else there. And guess what? Every ambulance service/hospital we dialled was either busy or nobody received the call. This included some big and revered hospitals.
“102” is the hotline for medical emergencies in India, and when we called that, the operator listened to our whole case and when we told him that the accident had happened in Gurgaon, he said he could not help us since he was stationed in Delhi. Instead of redirecting us or helping us himself, he told us to call the ‘Gurgaon number’, without providing it to us and further complicating the matter. By this time, the crew had managed to help the injured man out and they brought him to the safety of the front seats of the truck. He was bleeding profusely and possibly losing consciousness.
Soon, they drove off to the nearest hospital. As observers who tried to help, Arjan and I were left disappointed due to the lack of active response and action from the medical authorities of our city. The man could have bled to death, and he almost certainly will go on to lose his leg. That may have been avoided, had medical help come on time. What do we take from this? First, the Gurgaon Traffic Police should really reconsider their traffic light policy since so many accidents occur in early or late hours when people speed the most and drive recklessly thinking that ‘roads are empty’. It doesn’t work that way. Not when everyone thinks the same way. The cost of the ‘extra’ electricity or whatever they’re trying to save is nothing when compared to the value of human life.
It’s about time that the government comes at par with 21st-century technology and installs cameras on crossroads and traffic junctions, where most accidents happen. Medical authorities need to be more prompt in their action. The person who was injured could have been anyone: me, you, or someone you love or care about. The poor man didn’t even have a phone to contact his loved ones at the time of his suffering. A lot needs to change. Thousands of similar incidents (and worse) happen across our country and the government needs to bring about some serious change to our infrastructure. It’s hard to understand the gravity of these problems because we, as a society, have become so used to hearing about them all the time. But only when it happens right before our eyes do we realise and feel the gaping holes in the systems that have been designed to protect us. Life is fragile. We should be responsible and take care of ourselves and those around us.
– Submitted By Pancham Yadav
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